Police are seeking the operator of an Ontario dog rescue who they allege hanged her dog in a Toronto shelter this summer after it was removed from her care.

Toronto police Det.-Const. Tamara Lawrynowycz says the woman was supposed to be handing over the dog to a new owner and was given a leash and muzzle to get the pet ready.

But police allege she instead hanged the dog with the leash while inside the Toronto Animal Services shelter's quarantine room, where the Shar-Pei was being held after it allegedly bit someone.

Investigators say she had already fled the scene by the time shelter staff came in and found the pup without vital signs.

The CBC's Charlsie Agro reported Thursday that an autopsy was subsequently performed on the animal and the cause of death was determined to have been from choking.

Police say a 50-year-old Bolton woman is wanted on charges of killing or injuring an animal, causing or permitting unnecessary pain and disobeying a court order.

They say she runs Scooby's Dog House and Rescue — an organization police say may no longer be in operation — and investigators say they fear she may own other animals whose safety could be at risk.

Lawrynowycz says the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is "aware" of the rescue "from previous history."

She says Animal Services contacted police over the incident in December, but declined to comment on the delay.

With files from the CBC's Charlsie Agro